Story by Ofelia Legaspi
TORONTO, ONTARIO — We all know the pressure that comes with New Year’s Eve and how it sets the tone for the 365 days that follow it. So why leave such a crucial date to your own fallible hands? For those looking to party in Canada’s largest city on December 31, turn to seasoned hedonists who have known enough dance floor ennui and have accordingly finessed the ingredients to that elusive NYE bliss. Here’s a guide to Toronto‘s finest New Year’s Eve 2015 parties.
Promise Warehouse Party: What’s New Year’s Eve about if not forging new friendships at a cuddle puddle in one of the city’s most intimate electronic music parties? Promise is the bromance brainchild of Dave McLeod and Irving Shaw who have the elements of a good time down to a science. Their dance floors are damning evidence of DJ witchcraft and their venues are like Skittles of the visual world — you can (almost) taste the rainbow. These promoters have a devout following, so if in your drunken stupor you forget to ask for that person’s phone number, there is no need to troll Missed Connections on Craigslist. Just go to the next Promise party and you’ll likely bump into Cinderella again, or at least her fairy godmother. This upcoming NYE, Chicago house music legend Gene Farris will be appearing with DJ Brace, a Canadian talent from Montreal serving up Juno award-winning skills of hip-hop and dub. (6 Noble Street. Advance tickets are $45 at tix.ilovepromise.com/nye.)
Lower West Side New Year’s Eve Party at the Gladstone Hotel: It bears repeating that we are all born in the wrong decade. We are meant for flapper outfits and dapper suits and plopped in hazy, boozy speakeasies downing sidecars, nibbling canapés and jonesing for jazz. On your way to 2015, time travel back to the Roaring ’20s with this party featuring Canadian jazz singer Tia Brazda and blues singer Denielle Bassels. Midnight champagne is included. (1214 Queen West. $75 at the door; $50 advance at gladstonehotelnye.eventbrite.com.)
Majestic New Year’s Eve: You doth protest too much, Majestic. If it weren’t for your venue befitting a king at the Fairmont Royal York, I’d think this party could be as lame as anything whose moniker contains self-proclaimed greatness. Indeed, it’s very Great Gatsby to spend a swanky evening of dinner and dancing in a ballroom of a 1920s chateau. You can’t go wrong partying with 3,000 people to live percussion, saxophone and electric violin. At 100 Front West; tickets are $50 and can be purchased online here.
NYE at Someone’s Backyard (namely 159 Manning): 159 Manning left a bitter taste in my mouth that one fateful afternoon in the summer. My NXNE bracelet gave me free access to a concert on a boat, a concert on a streetcar, now I wanted a concert at a house, 159 Manning to be exact, only to be informed at the door that it was at capacity. To my surprise, the place is doing NYE this year, so go see a live show at this dude’s house, featuring Good Enough and Buck 65. There will be a chill-out tent in the famed backyard, and by God, it is BYOB so go ahead and bring that PBR. ($10 advance; $15 at the door; $20 after 1 am.)
Party Like It’s 1989: 1920s was elegant. 1990s was just cool. It was the era when Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, 2Pac, Spice Girls, Lauryn Hill, TLC, Coolio and Hanson (!) competed for airtime. It was also that weird time when we still watched music videos on our television set. Relive the glory days of music at the Smiling Buddha’s ’90’s video dance party with MuchMusic VJ Master T. Remember him? (961 College Street. $15 advance; $20 at the door.)
Soul in Motion NYE: Might as well start your new year’s resolution early and eschew lounging around drinking expensive bottle service. Sweat to some frantic D&B on NYE instead at Round Venue. Featuring Juno-nominated DJ Spinz. (152a Augusta Avenue. Advance tickets $20 at spinzcycle.com/events/simnye2015. Hard tickets at Play De Record, 357a Yonge Street.)
NYE After Party at 120 Church: So you got your dancing feet warmed up at a NYE party and now it’s finally time for the main event: the after-party. When else can you have a solid excuse to be out and about from 4 am to late afternoon without feeling a deep sense of guilt? A-MIN and Deian Markov will be flying in from Montreal and Dubai respectively to play at this ungodly hour. Let the danceathon begin. (Early bird tickets are $18. Available at www.wantickets.com/120.)